So Mass Effect Andromeda...

09philj

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Indifferent. I would probably get right back into Mass Effect were I to play it, but equally I don't feel I need to play it. I had an amazing adventure that spanned three games. It's now over. There's no compelling reason to go back.
 

DrownedAmmet

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Kerg3927 said:
chrissx2 said:
It will be Dragon Age:Inquisition in space
This is my expectation.

I LOVED the Mass Effect trilogy, even with its flaws. The overall story was good if not perfect, the characters were great, the gameplay was fun.

But Bioware seems to have taken a drastic turn with DAI. From what I've read, it looks like it will be more of the same with MEA. I expect a massive open world sand box, broken into huge zones/planets. It will be gorgeous, but it will be all about endless hours exploring in the Mako and doing fetch quests rather than riding an intense roller coaster action/adventure story. Like DAI, I expect the overall story to be shallow and heavily diluted by the open world/fetch quest make-it-as-big-as-possible-so-we-can-brag-about-its-size format.

The characters will be more about making progressive political statements and checking the boxes on the politically correct item list rather than making truly interesting, cool, and badass characters that you grow attached to and enjoy developing and taking on missions (like Garrus, Wrex, Thane...).

I will buy it and check it out because I'm a huge fan of the series, but I am expecting the worst. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. I hope so.
Fuck you guys. You are probably right, but fuck I hope you're wrong. I'm still excited for the damn game, I'm just hoping against hope that it's not the same mineral gathering snoozefest that Inquisition was.
I also hope that they don't continue to use that "power" or "galactic rediness" system like in Inquisition or ME3. I want my choices to make an actual difference and not fill some stupid meter
 

BarryMcCociner

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Wings012 said:
Don't care. While ME3's ending left me sore, it has been bloody ages and I'm not really so hung up over it anymore.

If it looks good, I might give it a shot? There's been such a bloody lack of games recently that I might jump on anything halfway decent just to get a bit of a fix.
Agreed, you can't expect it to sell was well as ME3 after ME3.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Caramel Frappe said:
- Make sure every mission is unique like how The Witcher III did their quests.
Pre-face: I love the Witcher 3, it easily qualifies for one of my favorite games all time. however, the thing W3 did was not very spectacular. It gave you pretty much the same quests that DA:I or DA:O would have, but added one or two lines from the questgiver ("Without mah piggy mah children will starve") that tied the quest to the world and then made sure to reconnect to that later in the quest when the twist/choice/reveal came around. The quests in the Witcher are not that much better on a purely mechanical level (in fact, I'd argue that several are worse since they are "follow the red quest thread. Now kill this. Good, loot container and turn in for reward"), they feel better to the player however since they are well-executed in terms of narrative and world building. You aren't just running into some dude in Novigrad whom you overhear have lost his family heirloom in Vizima somewhere, instead you meet a down and out noble in a shady bar in Novigrad who pleads with you to return the family heirloom that will restore his good reputation to him. The actual quest is just standard RPG-fare, but the fact that the quest feels so grounded in the world makes the player far more invested, even when there isn't a twist or choice.

Most RPGs can learn a lot from W3 in terms of world building and writing. The W3 world is almost entirely static, most places you visit have very little interactions available to the player, unless it is getting quests or quest-specific interactions, but most of us absolutely adore it anyway. My take is that W3 is very effective in its' world building, we might not be able to do much in the peasant village but it absolutely feels alive due to the NPCs moving about and the graphics, audio and layout absolutely selling the idea of downtrodden peasants. W3 is very economical with its' actual storytelling assets, but compensates with insane amounts of coherent world building. Compare to DA:I, which blew storytelling assets all over the place but where most places you visited just felt like barren MMO regions with very little sense of coherence ("Oh, here's a greyspawn tunnel fifty feet from the Dalish camp and a stone toss from the secret artifact").

W3 sells us the illusion that its' barren world is actually very much alive and an actual place. DA:I (and ME3) failed horribly at that.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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undeadsuitor said:
Me3 as well? I mean I know it's non story mission structure was bad, but the world/quest hubs were the most "alive" I've seen in any game. People had conversations, they were grouped in believable areas, the layout changed after every mission to reflect the results, the areas got more and more crowded and the memorial wall got more and more full as the war went on etc etc

Even the Normandy felt alive with your squad mates moving around the ship talking to one another instead of standing in their designated corners
It is not that ME3 didn't try, but I, personally, never felt the immersion at the Citadel. I was painfully aware of how staged it all felt, from the way that you "just overheard" side missions, to the way that people just stood clumped around spouting the same dialogue over and over. W3 added a rudimentary day/night cycle, NPCs that moved about their daily business and was just plain better at invoking mood in the hub areas than ME3 ever was.
 

stroopwafel

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Gethsemani said:
The quests in the Witcher are not that much better on a purely mechanical level (in fact, I'd argue that several are worse since they are "follow the red quest thread. Now kill this. Good, loot container and turn in for reward"), they feel better to the player however since they are well-executed in terms of narrative and world building. You aren't just running into some dude in Novigrad whom you overhear have lost his family heirloom in Vizima somewhere, instead you meet a down and out noble in a shady bar in Novigrad who pleads with you to return the family heirloom that will restore his good reputation to him. The actual quest is just standard RPG-fare, but the fact that the quest feels so grounded in the world makes the player far more invested, even when there isn't a twist or choice.
Yeah, that's right. Witcher 3 adds lots of flavor to the mechanics but it's also expertly put together as a cohesive whole. Many other games often excel at one point or another but it's like the developers didn't communicate or lacked a capable director or whatever so games end up repetitive or disjointed. Every developer did their job competently but the game still lacks flavor. I think you really need one person with the creative vision and a clear focus of how the game should eventually end up. I think this becomes less common primarily because modern game development requires hundreds of people to manage so you'd really need a 'top down' approach for it to work.

I don't know how those Witcher people did it but it would be interesting to read a postmortem about the game's development. I do know from reading the design works that with Dark Souls development everything went through Miyazaki first, which is probaly why this game has such a strong identity. I haven't played DA:I but I imagine this game also lacking focus due to huge teams and budget and no single creative vision.
 

Zhukov

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Gethsemani said:
...instead you meet a down and out noble in a shady bar in Novigrad who pleads with you to return the family heirloom that will restore his good reputation to him.
I'm struggling to see how that's any different to what every RPG does.

Hell, any game with sidequests.
 

BloatedGuppy

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Zhukov said:
I'm struggling to see how that's any different to what every RPG does.

Hell, any game with sidequests.
It's hard to properly delineate the difference, but there is a difference. Witcher 3 was roundly praised in all corners for "side quests that felt like they mattered", despite them being functionally indistinguishable from ordinary RPG side quests in description. As Gethsemani says, the Witcher team did a far better job of world building and quest integration, and the game just had a more natural "flow". It was almost never jarring or immersion breaking. You never felt like the quest was overt padding. DA:I actually felt MORE static, lifeless and ill considered than your average bargain bin FTP MMO, which is really saying something. In an interview with PC Gamer Bioware claims to have learned from DA:I and that they'll be getting away from that in Andromeda (we'll see) which indicates even they are aware of the difference.
 

Gethsemani_v1legacy

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Zhukov said:
I'm struggling to see how that's any different to what every RPG does.

Hell, any game with sidequests.
As I said, on a mechanical level there isn't. W3 succeeds by engaging the player and making the side quests feel like self-contained, serious narratives in themselves. You are just collecting 10 Bear Asses because some guy said so, but the game really manages to contextualize it and make it feel like a worthwhile activity beyond "need them xps". Some of the side quests are seriously great (by giving serious choices or because they are really involved and genuinely well-written, some both) but the majority of them are standard RPG-fare that CDPR managed to really doll up to look much more attractive then they actually are.
 

Zhukov

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BloatedGuppy said:
Zhukov said:
I'm struggling to see how that's any different to what every RPG does.

Hell, any game with sidequests.
It's hard to properly delineate the difference, but there is a difference. Witcher 3 was roundly praised in all corners for "side quests that felt like they mattered", despite them being functionally indistinguishable from ordinary RPG side quests in description. As Gethsemani says, the Witcher team did a far better job of world building and quest integration, and the game just had a more natural "flow". It was almost never jarring or immersion breaking. You never felt like the quest was overt padding. DA:I actually felt MORE static, lifeless and ill considered than your average bargain bin FTP MMO, which is really saying something. In an interview with PC Gamer Bioware claims to have learned from DA:I and that they'll be getting away from that in Andromeda (we'll see) which indicates even they are aware of the difference.
I haven't played DA:I so that particular comparison is lost on me.

(I own it, just haven't gotten around to it. I was always a Mass Effect guy. The DA games, for all their haphazard charm, always just felt like Fantasy Game: The Game. Very little identity beyond their Bioware formula.)

The side quests that stuck out for me in TW3 were the ones that were continuing threads from the main story. Going back to the swamp with the Baron, helping out Triss and Yen. Those were good. I'm not even sure I'd call them side quests exactly. They're more like the loyalty missions in ME2, technically optional but it's not like you're going to consider skipping them.

But the do-a-thing-for-random-joe quests? Not so much. Even after thinking about it for a few minutes I can only remember a few. The werewolf, the vampire and the chick with the Red Sonya thing going on. Oh, and the fencing lessons, mostly because I was surprised that it didn't end with a sex scene.

What I do remember was following an awful lot of glowing trails while thinking, "Oh great, who wants to bet this leads to a monster but not quite the monster I was told to expect?"

PS. It feels really awkward criticizing TW3 to you. For all my incessant griping, I don't consider it anywhere close to being a bad game. Tons of quality content, good story beats and enough good characters to make up for Geralt. Just never quite gelled together as a whole for me. Made me look forward to checking out that Cyberpunk thing CDPR are cooking up.
 

BloatedGuppy

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Zhukov said:
I own it, just haven't gotten around to it.
I kind of want you to just so we can sit down and have a nice time shitting all over it, but really...you've got better things to do with your time.

You found Witcher 3 left you wanting, and Witcher 3 beat DA:I up in a dark alley and took its lunch money. Bioware's game looked frankly amateurish in comparison. I was disappointed in DA:I after finishing it, and I was ANGRY at it after finishing Witcher 3 and realizing how low I'd let the bar get set.
 

Kerg3927

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Gethsemani said:
undeadsuitor said:
Me3 as well? I mean I know it's non story mission structure was bad, but the world/quest hubs were the most "alive" I've seen in any game. People had conversations, they were grouped in believable areas, the layout changed after every mission to reflect the results, the areas got more and more crowded and the memorial wall got more and more full as the war went on etc etc

Even the Normandy felt alive with your squad mates moving around the ship talking to one another instead of standing in their designated corners
It is not that ME3 didn't try, but I, personally, never felt the immersion at the Citadel. I was painfully aware of how staged it all felt, from the way that you "just overheard" side missions, to the way that people just stood clumped around spouting the same dialogue over and over. W3 added a rudimentary day/night cycle, NPCs that moved about their daily business and was just plain better at invoking mood in the hub areas than ME3 ever was.
I thought ME3 did a great job with the Citadel, giving it a foreboding mood with all the refugees talking with each other, etc. Yeah, they repeated themselves if you visited the same area enough times, but overall I think they did a great job.

Now, the creepy eavesdrop quests? Yeah, that was pretty hokey...

http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=313

TW3 certainly fleshed out its filler quests much better than DAI, but at the end of the day, they were still filler quests. After several hundred of them, plus several hundred bandit camps and smugglers caches, I'd visit yet another notice board and 20 new question marks would pop up on the map and I was like really? *sigh* Back to grinding. It was too much, and detracted from a main story in which you were supposed to be in a race against time to save Ciri from the Wild Hunt.

For that reason, ME3 was the far superior game, IMO, even with the flawed ending. But I admittedly just don't like massive open world games, because they necessarily have too much filler that detracts from the main story. You have to fill all that empty space with something. It's just an inferior game design as compared to the more linear, story driven games that Bioware is traditionally known for. With a massive open world, there is always going to be a quality for quantity tradeoff, IMO.
 

McElroy

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I for one filled a survey some years ago and put "make it more like ME1" on everything. I doubt I'll be playing it soon anyway.
 

Darth Rosenberg

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BioWare have - despite their best efforts (DA:I's vapid 'combat' system and SP MMO design being the most egregious examples) - never let me down, so I assume it'll be another day1 purchase.

However, whilst I like the idea of hopping over to another galaxy, none of the glimpses of ME:A has made me remotely excited about it. I don't give a toss about silly boost packs/jumps in games (I've no idea why they're a 'thing' these days. unless dev's are going to design with real verticality in mind? just don't bother), particularly in what's supposed to be a narrative driven A/RPG; I adore DA and ME, but BioWare never cobbled together a genuinely good core combat system in the latter across three games, so adding in jumping mechanics doesn't suggest they'll find anything interesting to do with it.

None of the characters designs look appealing in the slightest so far (quite the opposite), nor does the 'Isn't that a bit like Halo, but even less interesting?' sci-fi alien architecture inspire an iota of enthusiasm. Oh, and one character mumbled something about 'This readout's off the charts!', so they can't seem to avoid unbearably corny lines in the frikkin' teaser, which may not bode well.

I play BioWare games for the character arcs and writing, though, so in a way I don't care about the gameplay or the iffy/variously dreary designs - as long as I care about the characters and the world, I'm good. Plus, DA > ME, so I'm kinda already looking forward to DA4...

Caramel Frappe said:
The moment it spams me with fetch quests like Dragon Age: Inquisition did ... i'm going to stop playing.
I'm currently playing through it again (largely for Cassandra's arc, plus I've never played a male Herald/Inquisitor before), and it is worth noting that DA:I never forces you to do any of its BS. With the GotY edition - which hands out Power like confetti [in a confetti factory] - you can pretty much ignore most of the nonsense it tries to busy you with.

I'm certainly not saying that's good game design, but DA:I filler content's only really a burden to the obsessive compulsives - everyone else is free to pick and choose, and it turns into a relatively pacey, still quite gorgeous looking (and sounding) experience.
 

Pseudonym

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There is no reason another mass effect should exist and a good reason why it shouldn't. Mass effect ended with mass effect 3 and its ending. Even though that ending sucked, it was an ending. Bioware could have made a new IP but no, money had to be made. Blame EA, I guess. I'll read the reviews, and if I come across anything that hints at inspiration I might look further into it. But to me, making mass effect: redundant is an admission of artistic bankrupcy.
 

Kerg3927

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Darth Rosenberg said:
Caramel Frappe said:
The moment it spams me with fetch quests like Dragon Age: Inquisition did ... i'm going to stop playing.
I'm currently playing through it again (largely for Cassandra's arc, plus I've never played a male Herald/Inquisitor before), and it is worth noting that DA:I never forces you to do any of its BS. With the GotY edition - which hands out Power like confetti [in a confetti factory] - you can pretty much ignore most of the nonsense it tries to busy you with.

I'm certainly not saying that's good game design, but DA:I filler content's only really a burden to the obsessive compulsives - everyone else is free to pick and choose, and it turns into a relatively pacey, still quite gorgeous looking (and sounding) experience.
As one of those aforementioned OCD gamers, the concept of skipping content, especially on a first playthrough, just does not compute. To me it's like picking up a new book and skipping chapters or watching a new movie and fast forwarding through parts. If you've never played the game, how are you supposed to know which parts are boring, tedious, and inconsequential filler until you take the time to check them out? How do you know that something that seems like just another fetch quest is not going to lead to real, worthwhile content?

To make matters worse, games that are too massive and flooded with filler content have zero replay value to me, because by the time I've completed it, I generally have no desire to ever slog through the game again. It was like that with DAI, and even with TW3. Yeah, on a subsequent playthrough, I now know what parts I can safely skip, but there's never going to be a subsequent playthrough.

By contrast, I have played the ME trilogy and DAO all the way through at least 4 times, and will do so again. So to me, too much filler content = bad design. I'd rather they just make the maps smaller, minimize the filler content, and move on to make another game rather than stretch and bloat each game to make it as large as they can possibly make it just so they can brag about the size of it in their marketing materials. Quality > quantity.
 

Darth Rosenberg

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Kerg3927 said:
As one of those aforementioned OCD gamers, the concept of skipping content, especially on a first playthrough, just does not compute. To me it's like picking up a new book and skipping chapters or watching a new movie and fast forwarding through parts.
That's an incredibly inaccurate comparison; an interactive entertainment medium is world's apart from a fixed linear alternative - books or films don't typically have optional content, but games have pretty much always had that (options are arguably one of the medium's defining traits).

RPG's in particular have long since had tiered content; main quest, side quests, and miscellaneous tasks. Different games approach that differently, funnily enough, but the principle remains of presenting content of varying importance and/or relevance, and it's down to personal preference as to how much the player engages with.

If you've never played the game, how are you supposed to know which parts are boring, tedious, and inconsequential filler until you take the time to check them out? How do you know that something that seems like just another fetch quest is not going to lead to real, worthwhile content?
If someone's had passing experiences with RPG's, then they'd almost certainly be able to sniff out filler content. By less than a third of the way through [the MQ] I'd sussed DA:I not only had filler content, but filler regions of the world map.

In the ME trilogy or up to DAII, fans might be driven to tick off certain filler areas/tasks for the sake of continuity flags going into the next game, given they relied on file transfers. But DA:I relies on the Keep, and so nothing in a given file actually generates any flags.

I've been playing through Fallout 4 for the first time recently, too, and anyone with any passing experience of a Bethesda game (where consequences of actions haven't really mattered since Morrowind) can smell a radiant quest a mile off...

To make matters worse, games that are too massive and flooded with filler content have zero replay value to me, because by the time I've completed it, I generally have no desire to ever slog through the game again. It was like that with DAI, and even with TW3. Yeah, on a subsequent playthrough, I now know what parts I can safely skip, but there's never going to be a subsequent playthrough.
Well, that is obviously subjective. I certainly agree that DA:I is full of filler that tends to border on the meaningless/worthless (all the shards, for one major time wasting example. does the Keep even track that?), but as I said, most of it's optional and the game is actually quite short if the player focuses on the narrative (or even just the main task in each [inessential] map region). DA:I is as time consuming as the player wishes it to be.

And whilst it's not at all helpful on a first run; the Golden Nug dumps about 301 schematics/recipes on me for a new character, so initial effort is certainly rewarded in schematics being carried forward - that drastically reduces the amount of faffing required to get good gear/weapons.

I'd rather they just make the maps smaller, minimize the filler content, and move on to make another game rather than stretch and bloat each game to make it as large as they can possibly make it just so they can brag about the size of it in their marketing materials.
Well, this thread isn't a post-mortem of DA:I, but I've no real idea why they went with an SP MMO design. If ME:A takes too many cues from it and doesn't compensate with giving me characters I care about and an interesting world, I may end up rather loathing it. Time will tell.

As much as I enjoy BioWare's [SP] games, they do tend to suffer from wild dev mood swings... The Mako was, rightly, criticised in ME1, but instead of refining the idea they just axed it from 2. DAII was criticised for--- well, lots of reasons, but one was its single location (something I actually loved, despite the flawed execution due to the dev time), and it seems they kneejerked again with DA:I's 'wouldn't it be cool to be like Skyrim! or some shitty MMO!' scale and gameplay loops.

Pseudonym said:
There is no reason another mass effect should exist and a good reason why it shouldn't. Mass effect ended with mass effect 3 and its ending. Even though that ending sucked, it was an ending. Bioware could have made a new IP but no, money had to be made.
I generally agree the world didn't really need another Mass Effect, but it's not exactly unusual to want to explore a created universe in different ways. Personally, I much prefer DA's universe, but if BioWare can come up with some nifty new species and concepts for Andromeda's probable trilogy, then I'm not exactly going to complain (if they have to do sci-fantasy/'sci-fi', then frankly I'd rather they just made KotOR 3 than any more ME's).

...so far ME:A does look almost impressively unremarkable, but they've barely showed more than a few glimpses.
 

votemarvel

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Recusant said:
Mass Effect was not an EA game. Oh, sure, they published it, and I'm sure they tweaked it to at least some degree, but by the time they got involved, the game was mostly finished; it bears almost none of their stamp. And it shows: the game asks us to buy into its one big conceit: the titular mass effect. It extrapolates from that, and assembles a world of what is surprisingly hard sci-fi (with the exception of its view of biology, which apparently was informed by some hallucinogen-induced tastes in porn), especially for a video game; it was clearly very thoroughly thought out.
ME1 was finished while Bioware were still independent and the first game was published by Microsoft and was for a long time exclusive to the 360.

It was only after EA bought Bioware that they published it on PC. Bioware were finishing up Dragon Age: Origins when they became part of EA.

Jandau said:
ME3 was a good game up until the ending.
Was it a good game though?

The only parts you hear people praising are the Rannoch and Tuchanka missions, with maybe Thessia if you take Javik along for his comments.

For the rest of it though. I think the endings have blinded people to the comedy animations, eavesdropping side-quests, increase in passive conversions and times that Shepard speaks on their own (all to make the experience more cinematic). What about the ruined journal and that they somehow managed to make planet scanning even more boring than in Mass Effect 2. The role of ME2 characters reduced to almost inconsequential cameos. The pushing of the class balance even further in favour of the gun based classes.

My personal bugbear is that Shepard's background rates little more than a couple of throw away lines (one if you don't have the From Ashes DLC), why is my colonist Shepard so obsessed with Earth but can easily put her own homeworld out of mind. Why does my Butcher of Torfan give a damn about some child he knew for all of thirty seconds.

ME3 certainly isn't the 99% great game that people proclaim.

Edit: and I wouldn't want to forget how the game was obviously written for the people whose first experience into the Mass Effect universe was the final part of the trilogy. Nowhere was this more obvious than in the conversation with the Rachni Queen. The line referencing the first game is so obviously an afterthought by how badly it is added into the conversation.
 

someguy1231

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Not looking forward to it. I'm still pretty disillusioned with Bioware over ME3, and nothing I've seen about Andromeda has given me much confidence.

-The new galaxy setting feels like a useless gimmick to avoid addressing the elephant in the room, namely, the ending of ME3. I also won't feel as invested since it's not the galaxy we're in.

-The brother/sister dynamic also feels like this. If Bioware's previous games are any indication, I'm guessing that whichever one the player doesn't choose will either die in the first ten minutes or turn evil for some contrived reason.

-Bioware seems utterly incapable of writing a video game protagonist without turning them into a massive Mary Sue. The way everyone in their games bows to you, defers to you, and more or less treats you as The Most Awesome Person Ever is just embarrassing for me. It totally kills my immersion and reminds me I'm in a programmed, artificial environment.

-And don't even get me started on their pathetic ideas of what constitutes "romance"...